June 2, 2007

What you do changes your brain

"The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half." -- Fyodor Dostoevsky

This NY Times book review of Norman Doidge's book, The Brain that Changes Itself, reminds me of the reasons I'm so rabid about the negative statements that people make to themselves.

The reviewer, Abigail Zuger, cites numerous examples where changes in "wiring" in the brain occur because of changes in behavior. If you practice thinking nasty things about yourself, your brain will become accustomed to those neural pathways and allow those thoughts more easily in the future. If you sit down and write for 10 minutes every morning, your brain expects this and finds it easier to write.

I've just ordered this book.


At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so true... even with positive affirmations like " I can finish my dissertation" or "I can meet my goal of writing 30 minutes today" create confidence hormones !!!

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Gina Hiatt, Ph.D. said...

You're absolutely right, Anon. People think positive affirmations are hokey, but I think successful people use them subliminally without thinking in order to overcome hurdles. So it makes sense that others should consciously learn to make use of them. It must certainly change your "brain wiring," or at least the pattern of connections between neurons in the brain. Thanks for bringing that up!


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